Mind Chat

Michelle Liu and Edouard Machery: Is the 'Hard Problem of Consciousness' Nonsense Invented by Philosophers?


Many philosophers worry about David Chalmers' 'hard problem' of how brains produce consciousness. But do ordinary people who haven't been exposed to the peculiarities of academic philosopher share Chalmers' intuition that there's a problem here? Professor Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh-Carnegie Mellon University) answers 'no.' Machery thinks the concept of 'phenomenal consciousness' that gives rise to these intuitions is an invention of academic philosophers, and he's built an empirical case to support his view, based on interviews with the general public. Dr Michelle Liu (University of Hertfordshire-Monash) has responded to the arguments of Machery and others, suggesting they may be ignoring to polysemous nature of language. Keith and Philip will host a friendly debate/discussion between Machery and Liu, whilst trying to resist the temptation to bring the discussion back to panpsychism and illusionism.

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